Chefs generally have the attention span of a housefly. They are the most peripatetic of creatures-ADD acolytes whose capacity for providing gastronomic pleasure is inversely proportional to their low threshold for boredom. Thus have two prominent local chefs-Christophe Ithurrize (Marche Bacchus) and Jean-David Groff Daudet (Pamplemousse)- moved on, after less than a year at those venues-proving once again the accuracy of that aphorism and those observations. Details of both partings are sketchy and will be provided as they become available. In the meantime, we wish them well. Wherever they land will be lucky to get them.
The St. Louis dining scene is hardly cutting edge, but if you’re looking for old-time Italian charm, look no further. This week’s installment on John Mariani’s website features two St. Louis classics + Larry Forgione’s An American Place. Forgione successfully transferred his small-carbon-footprint, locally-driven philosophy from The Big Apple to The Gateway To The West 3 years ago. For a preview of what his Vegas outpost might look and taste like (slated to open at the Wynn later this year), you can read about AAP + 2 classic Italian places that occupy top spots in the St. Louis restaurant hierarchy.
Click here to read my tale of St. Louis dining at JohnMariani.com.
Trump International Hotel
2000 Fashion Show Drive
Las Vegas, NV 89109
DJT in the Trump International, is the most important restaurant to open in town since Guy Savoy flew across the pond in 2006. Unlike Savoy and Joel Robuchon-two culinary masters revered for their art and lifetimes of craftsmanship-DJT has burst upon the scene like a child prodigy at a fancy new piano who rips through Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto without missing a beat. Yes, it is that good.
Credit goes to Executive Chef Joe Isidori and Chef de Cuisine David Varley for aiming for the stars and hitting their target. No food network celebrity, no jet-setting “consultant” chef, no micro-managed tourist-friendly menu; just two young guys cooking finely-tuned food with the best ingredients money can buy. And unlike too many young chefs (and incorrigible piano prodigies), never do they stray into the land of the overwrought or the over-thought.
My two minutes of local media fame is hardly enough to do justice the exquisitely rendered food, but click below to view our Restaurant of the Week on KLAS TV Channel 8 (CBS), featuring DJT.